Saturday, 25 August 2012

Hobgoblin Casserole

This is nothing more than beef in beer; I named this after my favourite ale to make it with!  You could use any good beer, I just prefer the Wychwood Hobgoblin.  Wychwood’s Goliath is another very good one, or you could try one of the Black Sheep ales which are very good.

This is a bit of a cheat’s recipe in that I cut out quite a few corners because of time pressures.  With the flavour of the ale and the long slow cooking it makes little difference to the finished dish though! 


For two people : 

1 large onion, peeled and diced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
½ lb of stewing beef
4 large mushrooms, cleaned and sliced thickly
1 sprig of rosemary washed and finely chopped
1tb Worcestershire sauce
1tb tomato puree
1tb flour
1 bottle of good ale/beer
Salt and pepper to taste 

Gently cook the onion and carrot in 1tb of olive oil for a few minutes, while you chop the rosemary. 

Add the beef to the onion and carrot and stir together, then add the rosemary and the flour and stir well.  Slowly add the beer (because it will froth up) and then the Worcestershire sauce, tomato puree, mushrooms and seasoning. 

Cook,covered in a slow oven for 2 ½ to 3 hours at 150oC/300oF/Gas mark 2


This is delicious served either with mashed potatoes, or brown rice and a green vegetable.


Friday, 24 August 2012

Redcurrant Muffins

The basic muffin recipe here is a Delia Smith one (from her summer collection) that I have been using for very nearly 20 years!  It’s a very adaptable recipe, easy to scale up or down and you can add whatever variety of fruits you have to hand.  

For 12 muffins : 

10oz plain flour
½ tsp salt
1tsp baking powder
3oz caster sugar 

8fl oz milk
4oz butter (melted)
1 egg
1tsp vanilla extract 

4oz redcurrants (or blueberries, blackcurrants, cranberries etc!) 

Simply sift the flower into a bowl together with the salt and baking powder. Add the sugar and stir together. 

Melt the butter and leave to cool slightly.  Beat the eggs and add to the milk, then add the cooled butter. 

Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a gentle folding action until both are combined.  Rinse and add the fruit to the bowl and stir. 

Spoon into muffin cups and bake for 30 minutes at 200oC/400oF/gas mark 6.



Thursday, 2 August 2012

A Disturbing Development

I’ve just taken a peek at the old homestead to see how preparations for my arrival are coming along and have a very, very disturbing development to report.


This is Mum & Dad’s bed.  Note the Sealy Posturepedic pillow top mattress, topped with a feather mattress (I appear to have been adopted by the Princess and the Pea).

This travesty appears to be my bed.  Note the plastic box with a duvet folded up in it.

This will never do.  I intend to make my first goal sleeping on the big bed.  Obviously I need to ask my cousin Ruby for a few tips – she seems to have it all worked out from this picture.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Slimmers Creamy Pea and Ham Pasta

This is a lovely comforting dish for those rainy days, pasta is always a real comfort food!  It’s very quick and simple to put together and well worth making double the quantity and freezing the surplus as a pasta bake for another time.  Made with light, or extra light Philladelphia cheese this is quite low on the calorie front for such a creamy dish. 

For two people : 

1 cup of peas
2 or 3 slices of ham
200g dry weight of pasta
Half of an 8oz (200g) pack of Philladelphia
½ pint of chicken stock 

Boil the pasta according to packet directions. 

While the pasta is cooking, simmer the peas in the chicken stock and roughly dice the ham.  When the peas and pasta are cooked, add the Philladelphia to the stock and stir well in to make a smooth creamy sauce, add the ham and heat through. 

Drain the pasta and return to the pan, adding the sauce and stirring through to combine.